New Mexico chilli or New Mexican chilli (Spanish: chile de Nuevo México, chile del norte) is a group of cultivars of the chilli pepper from the US State of New Mexico, first grown by Pueblo and Hispano communities throughout Santa Fe de Nuevo México, the modern peppers were developed by pioneer horticulturist Fabián Garcia at New Mexico State University in 1894, then known as the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. The New Mexico chilli peppers, which typically grow from a green to a ripened red, are popular in the cuisine of the Southwestern United States, the broader Mexican cuisine, and an integral staple of New Mexican cuisine. The chilli pepper is one of New Mexico’s state vegetables, and is referenced in the New Mexico state question “Red or Green?”
Chilli grown in the Hatch Valley, in and around Hatch, New Mexico, is called Hatch chilli, but no one cultivar of chilli is specific to that area, which is smaller than the acreage used to produce chillis with the “Hatch” label. The peppers grown in the valley, and along the entire Rio Grande, from northern Taos Pueblo to southern Isleta Pueblo, are a signature crop to New Mexico’s economy and culture.
The New Mexico green chilli pepper flavor has been described as lightly pungent similar to an onion, or like garlic with a subtly sweet, spicy, crisp, and smoky taste. The ripened red retains the flavor, but adds an earthiness and bite while ageing mellows the front-heat and delivers more of a back-heat. The spiciness depends on the variety of New Mexico chilli pepper.
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